UCLA Athletics

Report: Former UCLA assistant Korey McCray to join LSU coaching staff

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Korey McCray’s work over the years with the Atlanta Celtics proved to be a key reason why former UCLA head coach Ben Howland added him to his coaching staff a couple years ago.

Thanks to McCray’s connections the Bruins would land Jordan Adams and Tony Parker, one half of what was considered by many to be one of the best recruiting classes in the country entering the 2012-13 season.

But that recruiting success didn’t fully translate to the basketball court, ultimately leading to the firing of Howland and the hiring of Steve Alford. And with McCray available, LSU head coach Johnny Jones will reportedly add him to the LSU coaching staff as first reported by Neal Nieves of Bruin Sports Report.

McCray moves into the position vacated by Robert Kirby, who left LSU to join Josh Pastner’s staff at Memphis. According to a report by Jim Kleinpeter of the New Orleans Times-Picayune the open position was previously offered to Texas A&M assistat Glynn Cyprien, who turned it down.

McCray has strong connections in the states that LSU has to recruit in as a member of the SEC, and he has a strong relationship with one of the best power forwards in the 2014 class in Craig Victor.

Victor, who is a New Orleans native, is one of the most highly sought-after prospects in the class and LSU is a possibility. If the hiring of McCray bolsters the Tigers’ chances of landing Victor, the rebuilding project at LSU becomes even more manageable.

LSU already has two of the top big men in the 2013 class joining the program in Jarell Martin and Jordan Mickey, and with Johnny O’Bryant III returning to school the Bayou Bengals can be an NCAA tournament team next season.

And further strengthening their recruiting connections will help LSU build on the momentum that can be gained with a successful 2013-14 campaign.

Raphielle can be followed on Twitter at @raphiellej.

VIDEOS: Rhode Island, Maryland exchange heated words in Cancun

Dan Hurley
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No. 2 Maryland finally found their rhythm on Wednesday night, blowing out a good Rhode Island team, 86-63, in the finals of the Cancun Challenge.

Melo Trimble and Rasheed Sulaimon combined for 34 points and eight assists on 13-for-14 shooting and Robert Carter added 15 points, nine boards, three assists and three blocks. Peak Maryland, which is what we saw tonight, is really dangerous.

But Peak Maryland wasn’t the story after the game, as tempers flared in the waning minutes.

It started when Maryland coach Mark Turgeon called a timeout with less than two minutes remaining. Jake Layman had just hit a three to put Maryland up by 24 points and Turgeon wanted to get his walk-ons in the game. Hurley said to the Maryland bench, “We’ll see you again, boy,” according to Inside Maryland Sports, which prompted this reaction from Turgeon:

After the game, the two teams had to be separated in layup lines. According to reports from IMS and from the Baltimore Sun, Hurley was cursing at Maryland players as he was shaking their hands after the game. According Doug Gottlieb, who called the game for CBS Sports Network, Trimble said that the Rhode Island team wanted to “fight us”:

Wayne Selden stars as Kansas wins the title in Maui

Wayne Selden Jr., Jeff Roberson
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The last time we wrote about Wayne Selden in this space, it was my colleague Scott Phillips who questioned, after a poor performance in the Champions Classic, whether or not Selden is capable of bring a primary scorer for a team with NCAA title aspirations.

At the time, it wasn’t an unfair question to ask.

Selden is a former top 15 recruit. He is a guy who was expected to go one-and-done that played poorly in the first big game of his third year on campus. But after three days it Maui, it appears that the old Wayne Selden is gone.

[MORE: Kansas got Cheick Diallo news today]

He capped an MVP performance in the Maui Invitational with 25 points and seven boards on 8-for-11 shooting as the No. 5 Kansas Jayhawks knocked off No. 19 Vanderbilt, 70-63, in the title game. Selden was terrific for the entire weekend, averaging 21.5 points in the two games against Division I competition and shooting 12-for-17 from beyond the arc in the three game tournament.

It was the best that we’ve seen Selden play during his Jayhawk career, and it came in a game the Jayhawks desperately needed it. Vanderbilt is a damn good team. They’re ranked 19th, which may actually be too low, and they seem to clearly be the biggest challenger to Kentucky in the SEC. They jumped out to a double-digit lead on Kansas in the first half as the Jayhawks seemed to be sleep-walking early in the game.

Enter Selden. He drilled three threes in the first half and scored 13 of the 26 Jayhawk points to keep them close. In other words, he played like a star on a night Kansas desperately needed someone to step up and play like a star. Remember: this is a dude that had enough talent and potential in high school to be considered a McDonald’s All-American and a potential lottery pick. The ability is there:

(That move is filthy.)

The question has always been whether or not he is capable of putting it all together, of being the guy that can be relied upon to make the big play in the big moment, to carry a team with title aspirations.

And to be fair, the jury is still out in that regard. Are we just going to ignore those four free throws he clanged down the stretch?

But seeing Selden have this kind of performance in a game like this against a team that is this good is unquestionably a positive for Kansas moving forward.